The fusion of Funk, Soul, Disco and Jazz has always been a favourite sound of mine. Earth, Wind and Fire are the top exponents of these genres. The great thing about this group is the amount of members and the types of instruments they play. It’s almost like a full orchestra rather than a group/band. Formed 1969 in Chicago, Illinois, USA, they have in a career of over 45 years picked up 6 Grammy awards out of 20 nominations and 4 American Music Awards (as of 2015). They have a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame and have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame amongst an array of other music business institutions.
The main stays of the group include its founder Maurice White, Vocalist Philip Bailey, Verdine Bailey and Ralph Johnson. Over the years well over 60 musicians have been attributed as part of the group.
During the period 1975 until 1981, Earth, Wind and Fire were at the height of their popularity regarding chart hits, reaching the top ten in both the US and UK including two number one albums and one number one single in the US. During this time they were signed to CBS Records (known as Columbia in the US). ARC set up by Maurice White also co-released their productions.
“September” with its high falsetto vocals within the chorus, full brass, guitars and drums this was a brand new composition released as part of a Greatest Hits package in 1978, and the prelude to their ninth studio album “I Am” in 1979 which included several hit singles including duet with fellow label stable mates “The Emotions” with “Boogie Wonderland”.
The lyrics describe the first moments of a relationship, of knowing that a day in September defined their love, souls were singing, and stars stole the night as they danced……..true love shared today…..
Considering the beautiful art work on all of their albums its disappointing to me that my copy of the single didn’t have a picture sleeve. A 16 week run on the UK chart created their biggest hit, peaking at #3. In the US it reached #8 on billboard pop charts but #1 on the R&B chart. In Europe it reached the top twenty in several places and also had a good run on the chart in New Zealand.
The B-side however is very much a change of pace but still the famous brass section is in evidence throughout, but the vocals are silky smooth for this ballad. “Can’t Hide Love” as the title suggests is the story of someone not openly admitting to being in love.